Wrapped in loving care:  Meseret’s story

At home in central Ethiopia, Meseret endured an agonising, obstructed labour without a doctor or midwife to help her. 

Tragically, her baby was stillborn. Meseret was left with a devastating obstetric fistula injury and was leaking urine. 

Meseret suffered in shame for a staggering 28 years.

“In the past almost 29 years I had never visited family or neighbourhoods. If I have to go out, I usually avoid drinking even if I am thirsty and rush back home in agony. I did not drink or eat while I go to market hidden. I stayed in pain for those long years.”


Thousands of women like Meseret

An estimated 31,000 women in Ethiopia are suffering with an untreated obstetric fistula injury in Ethiopia.

Tragically, most women do not know that their injury can usually be repaired with a single surgery taking as little as two hours.

At Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, the treatment for women suffering with an obstetric fistula is focused on not just repairing their injury but also restoring their dignity.

Patients receive a customised program tailored to their needs that includes nutrition, physiotherapy, counselling, surgery and rehabilitation. This is known as the Hamlin Model of Care and this patient-centred approach has been widely replicated around the world.

Thanks to supporters like you, treatment and care at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is free of any charge to patients.

Her son steps in

Meseret’s son finally told her she had suffered enough and insisted they search for a cure, promising Meseret he would look after her home and family.

It took fifteen days to travel with her sister to Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. When Meseret arrived, she was given a beautiful Comfort Package. Every patient receives this special gift on arrival at a Hamlin hospital. It makes them feel seen and loved and marks the start of their healing journey.

A Comfort Package includes a Hamlin blanket, hygiene items, a clean new nightgown and slippers, and a lovely homecoming dress so a woman can return to her community looking and feeling like the new person she’s become.

A journey to health

Meseret’s healing continued with fistula repair surgery  and loving care to restore her dignity and confidence. She has returned to her family and community with her health restored.

“This blanket serves as a remembrance of my beautiful stay here and helps me to recall the day of my cure. So I am happy having it. I will live thanking you for the rest of my life.” – Meseret

Learn more about the world’s leading model for treating fistula, the Hamlin Model of Care.

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